Sports

Hey NBA, Knicks’ Jalen Brunson is damn good and proving the naysayers wrong
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Hey NBA, Knicks’ Jalen Brunson is damn good and proving the naysayers wrong

After yet another disappointing, early-season loss, Jalen Brunson stood at his locker, ready to speak with the media in Milwaukee.As the point guard turned around, straight-faced as usual following the Knicks’ fourth defeat in six games, he donned a homemade T-shirt, all black and with white lettering on it, that appeared as if it were straight off the Vistaprint presses.Across Brunson’s chest read a familiar idiom: The magic is in the work.“This is a Sandra Brunson production,” Brunson said, referencing his mother, who stamped the family’s longtime motto onto the crewneck. Of course, “The magic is in the work” is not a Brunson family original.Anyone who knows Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has a Pavlovian relationship with that expression. Those 19 letters form his favorite saying. Find ...
How the PWHL’s youngest player is adjusting to a new league — and a new language
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How the PWHL’s youngest player is adjusting to a new league — and a new language

OTTAWA — Nearly 6,000 miles away from her hometown in Hokkaido, Japan, Akane Shiga was being asked about the weather.Mike Hirshfeld, general manager of Ottawa’s PWHL team, was sitting with Shiga and coach Carla MacLeod in the team office at TD Place Arena, speaking to the 22-year-old forward and Japanese national team member through her interpreter.“She’s looking at me like, ‘What is he talking about?’” Hirshfeld said about the playful preamble to an important bit of news ahead of the PWHL’s final roster deadline.Because what Hirshfeld really wanted to know was how Shiga felt about spending the winter in Ottawa, as a member of the newest pro team in Canada’s capital.When he told Shiga that she’d made the team, “her face just lit up,” Hirshfeld said.“I feel very honored to be given this opp...
After Jackie Robinson statue is destroyed, Wichita rallies around a baseball league
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After Jackie Robinson statue is destroyed, Wichita rallies around a baseball league

It was around noon last Thursday when Bob Lutz walked outside of his work and headed home before the start of his daily radio show. He looked across 17th Street in Wichita, Kan., from the offices of League 42, the nonprofit baseball league he founded in 2013. On a rainy, overcast day, he gazed over toward the Jackie Robinson statue the league had erected in 2021. The statue was a symbol of hope and resilience. Lutz, though, could not see the bronze depiction of the man who broke baseball’s color barrier.For a moment, Lutz wondered if it was covered by fog. He blinked. Looked again. Doubting himself, he called an assistant out of the building to join him. The woman looked and also could not see the statue.Soon they were across the street, where the odd hallucination of a missing statue turn...
Thompson: LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry is still the NBA’s best theater
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Thompson: LeBron James vs. Stephen Curry is still the NBA’s best theater

SAN FRANCISCO — The frustration seethed in Stephen Curry. Until it boiled to the surface. Until he let out a roar. Until he ripped his jersey from the collar to the 30.He’d scored 46 points on 35 shots, getting the benefit of just three free throws in his 43 minutes. He hit the game-tying layup at the end of regulation. Inside the final minute of the first overtime, he forced a turnover and then hit a massive corner 3, setting up the game-tying 3 from Klay Thompson that kept the Warriors alive. Then in the second overtime, Curry’s final points of the night came on a 26-footer from the top with 4.7 seconds remaining, putting the Warriors up a point.He left his follow-through in the air as he backpedaled. Too spent for a more elaborate celebration. The NBA’s leader in clutch points delivered...
Mike Macdonald lets the Ravens defense do his talking
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Mike Macdonald lets the Ravens defense do his talking

If Mike Macdonald’s ascent to one of the NFL’s hottest coordinators and a legitimate head-coaching candidate feels meteoric, that’s probably because he has never embraced the art of self-promotion.The 36-year-old second-year Baltimore Ravens defensive boss has consented to side media interviews in recent weeks largely because he wants to tout the chemistry and cohesion of his staff, not because he wants any more attention. He likes to call himself a “steward” of head coach John Harbaugh’s vision and will point you in the direction of two dozen others who deserve praise for the Ravens’ success.But it’s impossible to ignore Macdonald’s impact on the AFC’s top seed, which faces the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s conference championship game at M&T Bank Stadium.GO DEEPERIt's only right Rav...
Why Caitlin Clark could pose a dilemma for Team USA at the Olympics
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Why Caitlin Clark could pose a dilemma for Team USA at the Olympics

USA Basketball will be seeking its eighth consecutive Olympic gold medal this summer with the first step coming at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, from Feb. 8-11. The 12-player roster for that tournament will be the first approximation of the team that will defend the Americans’ gold medal in Paris.Based on the 18 players who have been invited to the national team camp from Feb. 2-4 in Brooklyn, N.Y., the committee has a terrifically challenging task to select that final roster, a decision that will likely be further complicated by the current collegians — primarily Caitlin Clark, but USA Basketball veterans Paige Bueckers and Cameron Brink could also factor in here — who turn pro at the end of the 2023-24 season.The final roster will ultimately make a statement abou...
Where are all the January transfers in the Premier League?
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Where are all the January transfers in the Premier League?

The rumour mill is still. The gossip columns are sparse. The Sky Sports News totaliser sits dormant. Fabrizio Romano seems to be tweeting more about deals that aren’t happening than ones that are. The Athletic has given David Ornstein the month off (just kidding: we would never let him have any time off).This has been a quiet January transfer window.There are nine days to go until the February 1 deadline and between the 20 clubs of the Premier League, there have been only six permanent purchases for actual money, for a total of around £44million ($56m).Five of those won’t be doing much for their new employers in the short term, either.Two are Brighton & Hove Albion’s latest additions to their cache of promising youngsters — 19-year-old Argentine defender Valentin Barco and 18-year-old ...
Why white home uniforms — once an NBA mainstay — have disappeared
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Why white home uniforms — once an NBA mainstay — have disappeared

Every August, after the NBA releases its schedule for the upcoming season, Michael McCullough, the Miami Heat’s chief marketing officer, thinks about the next 82 games. He not only considers ticket sales and promotions but also sets a meeting with the team’s equipment manager and focuses on an essential part of his job: uniforms.Laying out the right jerseys used to be an easy exercise across the NBA. There were just two choices. When Rob Pimental, the Heat’s equipment manager and travel coordinator, began his career with the Sacramento Kings in the 1980s, it was just white and blue: white jerseys at home, dark ones on the road. What to wear didn’t demand a conversation.Today, it needs lots of meetings. It has become one of the benchmark choices a franchise can make each season. Over the la...
Gary Sheffield, one of baseball’s great offensive forces, is still defending himself
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Gary Sheffield, one of baseball’s great offensive forces, is still defending himself

However you perceive Gary Sheffield — icon or problem child, steroid user or public-opinion victim — one image almost certainly springs to mind. It’s that waggling bat, the pulsating motion that for 22 seasons radiated so much swagger.Through eight teams, nine All-Star nods, steroid allegations and a list of other microcontroversies too long to count, Sheffield’s signature stance served as an active reminder of just who his opponents — and everyone else — were dealing with.Talk with Sheffield now, in the days before Hall of Fame voting is revealed in his final year on the ballot, and there are moments when one can practically feel that bat waving through the phone.“Trying to change your reputation, then you’re splitting hairs,” Sheffield says, responding to a question about why controversy...
Medvedev’s 3.40am finish is latest absurd example of why tennis has to change
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Medvedev’s 3.40am finish is latest absurd example of why tennis has to change

It happened again. Of course it did.Two tennis players, starting near midnight, battling nearly to sunrise in front of a scattering of fans, with a squad of kids in their early teenage years scurrying after balls at nearly four in the morning. Last year it was Andy Murray duelling with Thanasi Kokkinakis until the night sky began to lighten at around 4am. On Thursday, and into Friday, it was Daniil Medvedev of Russia and Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland doing the tennis version of the 2am jazz set. “I would not have stayed,” Medvedev said in an on-court interview after he completed his comeback from two sets down and eliminated Ruusuvuori 3-6, 6-7(1), 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-0. Judging from the scoreline, Ruusuvuori decided not to and it was hard to blame him.The dynamic would seem absurd if it wasn’t so...